It's a Great Time to Buy a House....Really?

buy a home
buy a home

Shawn Tully, the senior editor-at-large over at Fortune, has a post up in which he states that it's a great time to buy a house. That is pure awesome-sauce.

I know my friends and clients in the real estate industry are desperate for Mr. Tully to be right. And so am I, since my business depends in some degree on the industry being able to afford consultants.

Tully argues that the pipeline for new housing is really near empty. He quotes a MetroStudy report that shows that 78,000 homes are vacant and for sale or under construction in 2010, as opposed to 343,000 such units in 2006, at the height of the housing bubble.

I wonder why we wouldn't also want to look at homes that are not vacant and for sale -- as in owner-occupied housing, which is the lion's share of the homes for sale in pretty much any given market. Regardless, Tully goes on to argue that the two fundamentals that govern housing -- cost of ownership versus cost of renting, and the level of new construction -- have gone from pointing toward doooommm to pointing towards nirvana.